[E-voting] details about ClearVoting

David GLAUDE (PourEVA) dglaude at poureva.be
Thu Aug 30 22:07:52 IST 2007


emanuele lombardi wrote:
> 3) Voters need to trust the software that counts their votes. Of course
> voters may have no competence to verify the software, but parties and
> organizations have it. I'm sure we agree that party representatives must
> carefully watch voting operations whichever the media and the technology.
> Thus they will be present in any polling room even at the opening of
> election when the software is installed booting kiosks from the media that
> has been officially distributed by the Authority (central or local).

I have been the principal party whitness (100+ voting place and the 
present whitness from that party reported to me) for the last belgian 
election 81 days ago. Beeing choosen by a party was the only way to 
observe the election, hopefully I found a friendly party that was ready 
to give their priviledge to me.

There are two things that I noticed and that are really frightening for 
democracy.

Firstly there were very few party whitness at the polling place. 
Actually "my" party was one of the few to send whitness... and not even 
at every place. Maybe it is hard to find whitness nowdays (just like it 
seems difficult to find poll worker), but I really believe that with a 
long history of electronic voting in the polling place, party now 
believe that there is nothing to watch anymore. I might be wrong, but I 
guess that with paper voting and specially at the counting time there 
are many whitness and that big party send them everywhere.

Secondly, it seems very difficult for poll worker to understand and 
respect the necessary instruction to operate the voting machine. It 
might be specific to Belgium, but the respect of the chain of custody of 
the booting media and enabling password is something hard to do and 
observe. Many president of polling place did break the seal of the 
envelope before the other poll worker where present, the sealled 
enveloppe did not follow the official path, ... What happend is that 
ordinary people, both poll worker and local official do not understand 
the logic and the risk mitigiation that was build into the official 
procedure. So they bend the rule, adapt them, change them, do not 
respect them.

Those two facts that might seems specific to Belgium or the place where 
I was operating... but I believe that it is the normal effect of time 
and laziness put together with a blind trust in the technology and the 
election organiser.

It could occure everywhere.

At least with paper voting, fraud is easy and can be archieved by almost 
anybody in very obvious and visible way. Anybody from poll worker to 
party representative know that they must be there and they must watch 
for unexpected behaviour.

With electronic voting, most people do not know what to look for, what 
are the risk and possible attack, what must be done or not done to 
ensure the security of the vote.

Emanuele, there are many other point where you are wrong or where you do 
not see the real threath... Open Source, Free Software, Linux, Download 
from the internet, interpreted language, ... will not protect you from 
anything. I am sure most here will disagree with you and maybe take time 
to explain to you...

David GLAUDE



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